Achievements/Badges/Extra XP (Gaming in Teacher Education)

At this point, we’ve done the following:

  • Written a syllabus
  • Identified quests
  • Identified what XP should be for each quest
  • Converted XP into grades

And I want to say that I think that’s a great start. I’m going to continue on down the rabbit hole though. Feel free to follow.

In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing achievements (which are sometimes called badges) and start to get into what to do with any extra XP students might earn. First, go back and visit Chris and read his post on Badges. As we go through this, keep in mind Chris’ point that achievements need to be something measurable and not vague or abstract. I really stuck to this as I created my own achievements.

Here is how I explain Achievements in my syllabus (note: along the way I insert extra information for you which is bolded):

Achievements can be earned in the following ways:
(a) you accumulate a certain amount of XP
(b) you do something that automatically earns you an achievement

I have broken down achievements first by assignment. When you see N/A under Total XP Needed, this means that you must perform a specific action or have something happen to you in order to earn that achievement.

Blogging Achievements

Achievement Total XP Needed Total Achievement Points Worth
Level 1 Blogger 900 1000
Level 2 Blogger 4500 2500
Level 3 Blogger 9000 4000
Master Blogger 15,900 8000
Influential Blogger N/A 1000
Super Influential Blogger N/A 2000
Extreme Influential Blogger N/A 3000
Blogger of the Semester N/A 5000
V.I.B (Very Important Blogger) N/A 5000


EXTRA INFO: Let’s take Level 1 Blogger. I have it set up so students can earn it pretty quickly (one post and one week’s worth of comments equals 900 XP). I want students to hit Level 1 pretty easily. From there it starts to get more difficult. The only way to earn Master Blogger is to do more than what is required for your grade.

Next, you see Influential Blogger. This requires no XP. What happens is this:

  • Students are blogging most weeks
  • Each week, a student identifies a post written by another student for Post of the Week (remember that assignment I shared in my last post?)
  • If you get identified for Post of the Week, you get the Influential Blogger achievement
  • If you get identified two times, then you are Super Influential, and three times is Extreme
  • Blogger of the Semester – your post was selected at some point as a post of the week and it got voted as the best post of the semester
  • V.I.B. – your post was also selected at some point as post of the week but it got ranked somewhere between 2-5 for the overall semester when we voted.

Explore Project Achievements

Achievement Total XP Needed Total Achievement Points Worth
Level 1 Explorer 500 1000
Level 2 Explorer 2000 2500
Level 3 Explorer 3500 4000
Master Explorer 5500 6000


Extra Info: These are all achievements students can earn just from doing the work. I didn’t have a lot of ideas about extras to tack on here.

Becoming Connected Achievements

Achievement Total XP Points Needed Total Achievement Points Worth
Level 1 Social Butterfly 800 1000
Level 2 Social Butterfly 4300 4500
Level 3 Social Butterfly 9,800 10000
Level 4 Social Butterfly 13,800 20000


Extra Info: Levels 1-3 can be earned by doing the basic assignment. Level 4 requires doing some of that stuff marked with an asterisk.

Next, I have identified achievements you can earn that are separate from your assignments.These achievements do not require XP. Note that, like in a video game, not all achievements are revealed. Some are secret and will be revealed as people uncover them. Anything marked with an * means that you have to prove you did it. How you prove it is up to you. Some of these achievements might even be possible to combine….

Achievement   How to Earn It Total Achievement Points Worth
Level 1 Innovator Try one new idea out in your class* 500
Level 2 Innovator Try three new ideas out in your class* 1500
Level 3 Innovator Try seven new ideas out in your class* 4000
Master Innovator Try 12 new ideas out in your class* 8000
Level 1 Techie Used technology once to help your students with reading/writing* 1000
Level 2 Techie Shared a piece of technology with a teacher/parent* 1500
Level 3 Techie Used a second piece of technology into your teaching or used it in a new way (reading/writing related)* 3500
Master Techie Can identify five or more ways to use technology in the classroom to support reading/writing development 6000
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Extra Info: This last bit here is strictly stuff to do because you want to do it. Students don’t even get XP for it. They get Achievements and then they get Achievement points. Have you noticed this? I’m handing out the following things:

  • XP for completing quests (for a grade)
  • Extra XP for extending your quest (not for a grade)
  • Achievements (can be earned by getting a certain amount of XP or by doing something/having something happen to you)
  • When you earn an Achievement you get Achievement points

There’s two separate point systems going on here now – XP points and Achievement Points. XP can get you Achievements and Achievement Points, but what do you do with your Achievement Points?

You take them to the Item Shop of course (of course!). That’s another post.

Let’s get back to a more practical question: When students earn Achievements, where do the badges come from? Chris recommended Schoology.  Since I have less than 50 students, I can use it for free right now. It appears to be easy to use, and  you can easily set up badges. It takes time. Once I knew what all my badges were, I’m guessing it took me 30 minutes per class to get them all set up on the system. However, I teach two different classes with different objectives/quests/etc….There was very little overlap between the badges from one class to the next.

I don’t have any students in the system yet nor have I attempted to award any badges, but I do have it all set up.

A final note in awarding Achievements and Achievement Points using blogging as an example…..students can earn their XP however. So a student who is really into blogging might do extra posts and what not and find themselves to be a Level 3 blogger at the end of the first month. It’s just that all the XP that go into getting blogging achievements have to be XP that are attached to that assignment.

900 XP for a Level 1 Blogger does not mean 900 XP total across all assignments. It means 900 XP just from blogging. To do this, and to make sure students could get to Level 1 fairly easily, I had to go back to my XP chart and calculate what those XP should be. For blogging, I got this:

1 post = 500 XP

2 comments per week = 400 XP

So you do one week’s worth of blogging/commenting, and you are now a Level 1 Blogger. That’s how I worked my way through each assignment, but I made each level a little bit tougher (but still doable), and I made Master type levels require doing optional XP work.

I hope you’re still with me. Next time, we’ll talk about the Item Shop – what it is, what’s in it, and why you might want one.


One Year Ago Today

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